April 8, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. - Sophomore Kelly O'Neil (White Plains, N.Y.) hit a two-run home run in the first game and had two RBI singles in the second as the Holy Cross softball team split a doubleheader with Lafayette this afternoon in Patriot League action at Freshman Field, losing the first game by a score of 5-2 and winning the second game, 5-2. The Crusaders are now 5-16 overall and 2-4 in the Patriot League, while the Leopards are 9-18 and 1-5 in league games. These two teams will meet again tomorrow for a doubleheader at noon.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Leopards got on the board right away when Kristen Ruckno hit a two-run homer in the first inning for her eighth of the season. The Crusaders responded immediately in the bottom of the inning as they tied the game at 2-2. Sophomore Jayme Elliott (Gardena, Calif.) singled with one out and advanced to second on a fly-out to left field by senior Megan Lally (Lake Forest, Calif.). Freshman Natalie Cruz (Manalapan, N.J.) then singled to right field driving in Elliott. Junior Sheena Stangler (Bremerton, Wash.) advanced Cruz to second with a single to left field and then O'Neil drove in Cruz with a single.
Holy Cross scored two more runs in the third to increase its lead to 4-2. Elliott singled and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Lally. Stangler then had an RBI single and advanced to second on the throw, while O'Neil drove in her second RBI of the game with a single bringing Stangler around to score.
The Crusaders added onto their lead in the fifth with a bases loaded sacrifice fly to right field by Lally to bring in junior Beth Richard (Fitchburg, Mass.), making the score 5-2.
Senior Marsha Babcock (Ridgefield, Conn.) was outstanding on the mound as she earned the complete game win and improved to 3-4 on the season. Babcock allowed only two runs on five hits, while striking out two. Lauren Belowich took the loss as she allowed five runs on 11 hits in six innings.
Elliott went three-for-three at the plate, while O'Neil went for two-for-two.
In the first game, the first four innings went scoreless before Lafayette's Jill Masterton hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to give the Leopards a 2-0 lead. The Crusaders answered back in the bottom of the sixth when O'Neil blasted her first home run of the season and fourth of her career to drive in two runs and tie the game at 2-2. The Leopards would then go onto score three runs in the top of the seventh as Robyn Matchett hit a two-run double and Megan Averbuch drove in a run with a single.
Averbuch pitched a complete game to earn the win and improve to 5-9 as she allowed two runs on five hits, while junior Lindsey MacNeil (Plymouth, N.H.) took the loss as she allowed three earned runs on nine hits in seven innings.
For the afternoon Elliott went four-for-six for a.667 batting average, while O'Neil went three-for-five with four RBIs.